Homeless campers on rise

Vancouverites priced out of their city are turning to their vehicles as the last refuge before homelessness.

Newly elected city councillor Pete Fry says its a growing phenomenon in expensive West Coast cities.

“People that have no place else to go, can park there and can have access to toilets, running water, showers and outreach services,” Fry told CTV Vancouver.

Darryl, who only wanted to share his first name, said he was forced to move out of his suite after a decade and was faced with the choice of a tent or his 1990s Ford Winstar.

“I can barely afford [the van] let alone pay another $400 or $500 of rent,” he said. “With the cost of moving, I had to rent a container to try and save my belongings.”

The City of Vancouver says it tries to help those in need and connects those living in vehicles with resources.

Darryl says he hopes to save enough money to drive the van to Ontario, where housing is more affordable.

“You can get houses down there cheaper than you can get up here,” he explained. “For $700 you can get a nice two-bedroom house on its own property.”

But with having lost his job due to the exit of Greyhound, he’s not sure how long that will take.

with files from CTV Vancouver

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